Ecosystem Credit Accounting
Overview | Protocols & Tools | Pilot Projects
The Ecosystem Credit Accounting System is a package of protocols, tools, and resources that allow buyers and sellers to trade in multiple types of ecosystem credits. The Willamette Partnership's Counting on the Environment project is piloting this system from September 2009 through September 2011.
The Ecosystem Credit Accounting System was built to provide the following:
- A more efficient and effective use of planned, compliance-driven expenses
- Opportunities to accommodate growth without environmental degradation
- Increased coordination among various conservation and restoration efforts
- Rewards for voluntary actions on private lands
- Healthier ecosystems
The first credits to be trading include wetlands, salmon habitat, upland prairie habitat, and the water temperature benefits created from riparian restoration.
You can download overview documents by clicking on the links below:
The Ecosystem Credit Accounting System is a work-product of the Willamette Partnership, but represents agreement among federal, state, and local agencies, conservation organizations, and the buyers and sellers likely to use an ecosystem credit trading system to leverage investment in the environment.
Twenty-five key organizations agreed to pilot the protocols and tools governing the Accounting System for two years. You can download the Working Group's final Agreement in Concept. The final organizational agreements were received in October 2009.
Approved credit calculation methodologies:
Water Temperature (benefits from riparian restoration)
Nutrients (Nutrient Tracking Tool)
The rules on how to buy and sell, how actions taken on the land translate into credits, and how those credits are verified, registered, and sold are described in Version 2.0 of the General Crediting Protocol. Version 1.1 of the General Crediting Protocol is also available.
We have developed a Guide to the Crediting Process, a diagram summarizing the process of bringing credits to market, and standard tools and templates for the contracts and procedural documentation needed to support a transparent and creditable accounting system.
We also have our Ecosystem Crediting Platform which is a web-based application that allows organizations to standardize the operations and management of ecosystem credit creation.
There are currently a number of pilot projects running through the Ecosystem Credit Accounting System using the approved credit calculation methodologies. These are generally projects with real impacts and real credits being generated. Information on the pilots can be found here: Pilot Projects